For those who could not make it on Friday here’s word for word, what the Chamber presented to councillors on Friday night.

Running sheet – “Promote & Support – An Evening with the Chamber

Presented by:

Nathan Kelly – Chamber President
Jacki Martin – Chamber VIce President

Nathan – Intro and welcome

Welcome everyone to tonight’s event – Promote & Support, an evening with the Chamber.

Tonight, we have some special guests with us which include:

-Our members, who are local business people & their staff 
-Our Chamber Committee 
– Our Mayor, Jan Bonde
– Current Councillors 
– Prospective Councillors 
– Special guests – Leonie Hiscutt MLC. Liberal Member for Montgomery 
– Sandra Ayton the Council GM asked me to convey her apologies as she is at a DR’s appointment in Launceston and is unable to get back in time.

Nathan – Acknowledgment of Country

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. I pay my respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present and to any elders who may be with us tonight

Nathan – So, what is tonight all about?

Tonight, we wanted to create a meeting space where we can all meet and gain some understanding. Tonight, we want our councillors to gain further understanding into what it’s like to run a business on the Central Coast.

Tonight, we want you to understand

– How important Central Coast Businesses are to our region 
– Remember that business owners are people just like you 
– Understand the challenges local business face 
– Realise that 20% fail in the first 12 months
– That business may not be doing as well as you think.—The fact is that the average Australian cannot get their hands on 1000 dollars in a hurry if they need it.

Tonight, we want our councillors and prospective councillors to remember that Central Coast business need your support and consideration, every time you make a decision in council,

Please remember that when you are re-elected or elected for the first time, tonight is about you understanding and remembering that the decisions that you make are critical to the viability of business and families on the Central Coast – Its simply that important!

Jacki – So who is the Chamber of Commerce?

The Chamber of Commerce’s mandate is “to be a vibrant network supporting and promoting the central Coast Business Community.”

We do this for members by:

– Providing social events to promote relationships
– Training for business with our relationship with the Tasmanian Chamber
– Network with other organisations to build community in the region
– Represent the needs of our members to council, state and federal governments
– Provide a listening ear business people & provide assistance where we can.

Our committee are:

– All volunteers 
– Some are financial sponsors 
– Made up of local business owners, staff and supporters 
– Interested in the local business scene and seeing it grow & develop

Jacki – What do we see for our region?

The Central Coast is a unique and beautiful place to live and work but for a business perspective it does have its challenges.

These changes are due mainly to a smaller population which obviously mean less potential customers, and less supply and demand.

However, with the economy hopefully heading in the right direction and with greater investment in large projects, the trickly down effect will undoubtedly help us on a local level.

But we can’t just rely on this, we must continue to work together with the council and State government to attract greater investment on the Central Coast.

As a region thanks to the work of many including the Central coast council, gained funding for the Coastal pathway, New Dial Regional Sports Centre and Penguin Regional School.

There’s also the Ulverstone Cultural Precinct including History Museum, Working Arts, Visitor Information Centre and Science Centre which hopefully will become a great local attraction in the area.

We also want to acknowledge the 7 day makeover and the funds committed to this. While there’s been some interesting feedback, it was certainly from our point of view a step in the right direction,

Nathan – A Time of Change

So, as you are well aware, we have council elections this week so it’s an important time to raise some local issues and bring them to the attention of our councillors & prospective councillors.

As we’ve already stated, tonight is about asking you remember to promote & support business in all of your decisions over the next four years. We’re not saying that you don’t already, we’re using this time to implore you to remember how important your decisions are and how they affect our business community.

Nathan – Survey Intro

We recently surveyed our membership from right across the Central Coast and compared the results to the issues that are brought to us very often by our members who often times feel frustrated at council and they have asked us to raise these with you tonight.

This is obviously not the forum to debate these issues, but they have asked us to raise them with the hope that if you are re-elected of elected for the first time that you would prioritise the discussion and action on these issues.

Jacki – Some points for your consideration

Jacki – Parking

We have had acknowledgement that the recent upgrading of car parking has been successful and well received however as the community grows and we are attracting shoppers from across the region there are concerns that more is required, and the investigation of a multi-story car park is essential for the future.

We have had concerns raised from not only the CBD area but also West Ulverstone and Penguin. These are all quite specific and this perhaps isn’t the forum to raise individually but we will bring them to the new Council representation.

Nathan – Maintained & Beautification

We all also appreciate that one of the roles of the council is the maintenance and beautification of the community but we ask on behalf of the retailers that particular emphasis be placed on an increased cleaning schedule with special regard to footpaths and rubbish bin surrounds as these often look below par.

Jacki – Strategic Plan

While we acknowledge that there is a strategic plan for the region, may we suggest that the message needs to be more clearly articulated on what that is and how and when the vision will be achieved and become a reality. It is our observation that people don’t realise that there is a strategic plan and how you are tracking against your benchmarks. This includes opening of land to attract and retain growth and business development

Nathan – Growth, Planning and zoning

We understand that another role of council is to consider the impacts of growth of the community with regard to zoning, planning and approvals. There are many frustrations with red tape , one that has been raised is rural resource zoning – when land is sub-divided, the property remains rural resource until after the title has issued. If the zoning was changed to residential prior to the title issuing, the impacts and costs on the consumer is far less and progress is made far more quickly and therefore Council is seen to be easier to deal with.

Jacki – Forming closer relationships with business

While the Council maintain that they have regular visits with business to ensure that they stay in touch with business needs, our feedback is that many of our business owners have hardly seen any of the sitting Councillors. However, they really appreciated when the Mayor has been in to see them which is great.

May we suggest that if you are elected that you make it your business to visit as many of the Central Coast businesses as possible each month. Please do not forget that this includes businesses from Forth to Howth and not just the Ulverstone Central business district.

Nathan – Remember to think about the individual – not just to policy

We would like you to consider the impacts of the decisions that you make to the business owners of the electorate.

We understand that there are rules, guidelines and policies which must be adhered to, we’re just asking you to remember the individual impacts and perhaps consult with those who may be affected and come up with alternative plans.

Jacki – Council Amalgamations

The very hot topic of Council amalgamations peaks everyone’s interest. We do not share the same view of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce, we do not believe that it would be a good idea to reduce the number of Councils in the State to just 3.

But as a prospective councillor in this election perhaps you would be open to sharing your views with our members on this topic. We look forward to further discussion on this if you are elected.

Nathan – Increased Marketing of the Region

We acknowledge that support is given to local tourism through Local Tourism Association and Caves to Canyon and also your work on the Coastal Pathway and Ulverstone Cultural Precinct including History Museum, Working Arts, Visitor Information Centre and Science Centre. There is also the visitors centres in Ulverstone and Penguin which are fantastic.

However, if you are elected we would like to see the appointment of a dedicated marketing person who works exclusively to attracting tourists to Central Coast towns and attractions. Having the attractions is one thing, having a strategy and incentives to drive traffic to them is another.

While we understand that marketing is done regionally we do not believe that we are well represented. We feel strongly that the council should appoint somebody itself to champion this for the area so we’re asking for your support as incoming councillors in this area,

Jacki – The Chamber of Commerce & our local businesses

Finally, in recent times the relationship between sitting council and the Chamber has been tested and has highlighted the need for better communication & acceptance of differing opinions and positions.

It is far too easy for individuals from either organisation to throw blame or place unrealistic expectations on each other. May we suggest that if you are elected that we place greater value on the work which our organisations do and align our strategies so that everyone on either side feels listened to.

If you are elected or re-elected, would you commit yourself to taking a more proactive stance on promoting and supporting business in the region?

Would we let bygones be bygones and commit to getting on the same page and to create an open dialogue and opportunity for Central Coast businesses to have input into the decisions of council.

Nathan – Final Comments

I hope that we have been able to achieve a couple of things here tonight.

Firstly, that you’ve heard the voice of our Central Coast businesses and some of the issues which they would like you to work on, if you are elected or re – elected to council.

Secondly, we hope that we’ve helped you to reconnect with the importance of Central Coast businesses. The fact is that a business represents more than just a place to buy something you need.

Behind that counter is someone who’s invested everything, to provide for their family or the families of their employees,

Let me say it again. If you are elected or re-elected, in your decisions over the next four years, please remember to do your bit to promote & support Central Coast Business.

Thank you

Mayor Bonde would you like to make a few comments before we break for some more refreshments and conversation?